able to state with H clear conscience that there tea* or would be
sufficient and there was no need for panic*
In the light of such statements it is difficult to understand the
violence with which British members of Parliament assailed Mr.
-Vmery for his lack of foresight.
Another outburst greeted Mr. Amery when he suggested that
one cause, at least, of the famine was hoarding and black market-
ing. It was suggested that this was a k libel on the Indian character *
. ,.*a cowardlj* attempt to shift responsibility from his own
Was it ? Listen to the Indian version of the matter, as exposed
in the same speech of Sir Xazimuddin.
'Hoarding and black marketing and other anti-social activities
*vere widely prevalent: one of the major factors we had to deal
with was greed brought about by the speculative rise in prices.*
He went on to explain that between the 10th and the 12th of
June a special drive was launched against hoarders. The results of
this drive were staggering. 'It is difficult to estimate the amount
rhutitcan easily be put down in the region of seven to eight million
In Western measures this is roughly equivalent to six hundred
and forty million pounds. Considering that this vast amount was
unearthed in the space of forty-eight hours it 'would seem that
hoarding was not so alien to the ladian mentality as it had been
Another outburst from the theorists occurred when one or two
British spokesmen hinted that things might not have been so bad
if the various Indian provinces had adopted a more good-neigh-
bourly policy.. .if there had been some signs of fraternal unity
among the Indian themselves. 'Another libel!' cried the critics.
' An unwarranted sneer at the Indian character !'
Unwarranted ? Once again, let India speak for herself. Nazi-
muddin described how* in order to relieve the situation, it was
essential to restore free trade between Bengal and the more
fortunate neighbouring provinces and states.
^JWhat followed/ he states, 'is well known. The neighbouring
Provincial Government* did everything possible to defeat free trade,
and requisitioned all visible stocks to provide their owix security